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• Local press reports say that the Indiana legislature is considering a bill that would regulate where retailers can display alcohol products and how beer and wine sales can be expanded into convenience stores in the future. Pushing the legislation is Marilyn Peffley, whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver almost three decades ago, but who remains resolute about getting laws passed that would prevent gasoline and alcohol from being sold by the same establishment.

• The Orlando Sentinel details the problems facing the Florida citrus industry: 1) “Citrus canker is so widespread, the federal government has declared that eradication is no longer feasible.” 2) “A new and even more deadly tree disease called greening has invaded the state; the insect that spreads it is everywhere.” 3) “Urban growth continues to gobble up grove land for homes and highways.” 4) “Few want to labor in the fields, forcing the industry to rely on illegal immigrants.”

While these add up to enormous obstacles facing the state’s growers, the Sentinel notes that the citrus industry is worth $9 billion to the state’s economy, and therefore is far too large to allow to collapse. But it will require much rethinking of how the citrus business operates, and will almost certainly result in a smaller, leaner industry.

• The Asbury Park Press reports this morning that “an investor group led by the Saker family has upped its offer for Foodarama Supermarkets Inc., which owns 26 ShopRite supermarkets in New Jersey, including 11 in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

“The investors — including CEO Richard J. Saker and six other Saker family members who together control 51 percent of the company — offered to pay $53 a share for all outstanding shares, Foodarama said in an e-mailed statement. The price is $1 a share more than the Sakers's initial offer of Dec. 2 and a 43 percent premium to the Dec. 1 stock price.”

The deal will have to be approved by shareholders and Wakefern Food Corp. If so approved, the deal could close by May 2006.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Starbucks will begin selling a music video DVD, "We are... The Laurie Berkner Band," which is geared for young kids and that the company believes will appeal to Starbucks-drinking moms.
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